At age 49—Vince found himself in a Phoenix shelter with 187 men in a freezing cold room. “I spent a horrible night trying to stay awake so no one would steal my stuff,” said Vince. “I was thinking all night what had my life come to?”
Originally from Detroit, Mich., Vince enlisted in the United States Army at age 18 and served for four years. As a veteran, he always held the code of being self-sufficient and worked as a forklift driver for 25 years.
But after relocating to Phoenix—he came upon some troubles and lost his job and home. After one hard night at the city shelter, he was referred to Catholic Charities MANA House, a 49-bed transitional housing program for veterans located near downtown Phoenix. “They welcomed me in, gave me a good bed to sleep on and have helped me start over,” said Vince.
MANA House staff work with veterans to overcome barriers as they rebuild their lives. They do this by providing rooms, cooked meals, laundry and shower facilities, computer access and transportation. Onsite staff also assist veterans in finding employment, pursuing education or completing the process to receive veteran benefits.
After several months, Vince is now working two jobs to pay off fines and save up for his own place. MANA House staff helped him to get his Arizona certification as a forklift driver to earn a higher salary. “I’m thankful for this place,” said Vince. “They accepted and helped me. It’s renewed my faith in people.”